Constricted Infant Ears - A True Malformation
All other misshappen infant ears have been referred to as "deformities". Medically speaking the word deformity infers that all parts are there, they are just misshapened. Malformation, on the other hand, implies that the part is incompletely formed or that something is missing. In the case of "constricted ears" the part that is missing is either skin or cartilage or both. Typically, infant ear molding is limited to true "deformations" where everything is there. However, we have found that EarWelll therapy is very beneficial to the contricted ears with incomplete formation of skin between the scapha and helical rim. The application of the retractor device is more difficult since the helical rim is tightly tethered to the scapha. Additional adhesive between the retractor and helical rim is often required until rim expansion occurs. The results with contricted ears fall short of perfection but remain suerior to the surgical alternative.
The contricted ear may masquerade as helical compression where the helical rim is folded over onto the scapha. However, helical comression is a true deformation where all the skin and cartilage is present. Helical compression corrects rapidly with the EarWell system and the retractor snaps onto the rim without difficulty.